Cosatu comes out to bat for NHI

04 July 2018 - 16:02 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said NHI critics had no interest in policies that sought to address South Africa’s inequality crisis.
Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said NHI critics had no interest in policies that sought to address South Africa’s inequality crisis.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Werner Hills

Trade union umbrella body Cosatu on Wednesday defended the much-vaunted National Health Insurance‚ saying critics of the scheme were funded lobbyists.

Federation spokesman Sizwe Pamla said NHI critics had no interest in policies that sought to address South Africa’s inequality crisis.

This comes after a group of economists‚ political parties and individuals launched an attack on the NHI bill as well as the NHI policy.

The NHI was introduced by health minister Aaron Motsoaledi as an attempt to provide universal healthcare for all South Africans.

“At the moment there are shocking inequalities and problems in our healthcare system. While our country spends a lot of money on healthcare‚ compared to many other countries‚ only a few (about 8 million) have access to good quality healthcare‚” Pamla said in a statement.

Cosatu also vowed to ensure that the redistribution of resources through the NHI favoured the poor.

“We will also push back against the vultures that want to continue to feast on the carcasses of our poor and sick people‚” Pamla added.

Pamla also slammed the link between Motsoaledi’s tenure in office and the NHI.

He said: “Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is not the NHI. The NHI will remain a policy of government with or without him as a minister of health and‚ therefore‚ we cannot continue to bond any policy of government for that matter with one particular person.”

Pamla also called on the government not to be distracted by those who are anti-NHI.

“We are fully behind the NHI and we will not allow these funded lobbyists to distract from the goal of transforming our health system‚” he said.


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